Even after a “meh” outing against Indiana, the Michigan Wolverines dropped one spot in the ESPN Football Power Index (FPI) rankings to No. 5. The No. 4 slot was taken by the Texas Longhorns, despite Michigan outranking Texas by three spots in terms of overall efficiency. I suppose shutting out Oklahoma was just that impressive.
The meat of the Big Ten season is upon us. Saturday’s bout against the Penn State Nittany Lions marks Michigan’s first game against a ranked foe this season, and both teams look to make their case as a Big Ten Championship contender. Even after a humdrum win over the Hoosiers, the FPI gave Michigan a jump in its odds against all of its remaining opponents — with the notable exception of Ohio State, which stayed the same.
For October, the FPI increased Michigan’s odds of vanquishing the Nittany Lions (71% to 73.3%) and the Spartans (85.5% to 89.3%). If Michigan does what it’s expected to do against Penn State, Michigan is in good shape to head to Columbus and fight to keep its Big Ten crown.
Here’s what the FPI augers:
Oct. 15 Penn State: 73.3% chance of winning
Oct. 29 Michigan State: 89.3% chance of winning
Nov. 5 at Rutgers: 93.3% chance of winning
Nov. 12 Nebraska: 95.9% chance of winning
Nov. 19 Illinois: 88.4% chance of winning
Nov. 26 at Ohio State: 22.6% chance of winning